On a wet and windy Saturday, afternoon and my fare who was a woman of a mature vintage shivered and dripped copious amounts of cold Barrow rainwater as she climbed into my cab. After the usual weather related chit chat, she declared that she had only ventured out into town in this heavy storm to buy some paper and refills for her fountain pen. Refills for a pen I exclaimed why not just buy another pen surely; they only cost a few pence. She looked horrified at the very idea and asked just when the last time that I had received a handwritten letter was. I thought about it for a minute or two and had to admit I couldn’t remember receiving one for many a year.
Come to think of it, the only items that seem to come by post nowadays are bills, computer written official letters or printed junk mail adverts. When I told her this she gave a knowing smile and asked what I do with this correspondence,” it goes straight into the shredder” I replied. Well she says, “I have been writing to as many as thirty different folk all over the world some as far away as Australia for the last fifty years and all of them tell me that they still have every one of my letters”. She must have seen the puzzled look on my face and as if for explanation dug into, her leather bag and pulled out a sheath of handwritten letters. Take a look at some of these she urged, and so when we pulled up outside her house I took the time to check out one or two.
The envelopes and paper used were all of the very best quality and the handwriting was absolutely superb, even though the heavy paper was unlined, every line was equally spaced and looked like a piece of artwork. Not a spelling mistake or grammar error could be seen. Wow, it was a pleasure to even look and read one of the multipage masterpieces, never mind to actually have one sent to you through the post.
I really was impressed and if a Parker fountain pen came along with a spellchecker, I may have even thought about investing in one. No, wonder her readers treasured her letters and I hope that she keeps the art of letter writing alive for many years to come.